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História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos

Print version ISSN 0104-5970On-line version ISSN 1678-4758


MAIO, Marcos Chor  and  SA, Magali Romero. Science in the periphery: Unesco, the proposal to create the International Institute of the Hylean Amazon and the origins of Inpa. Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos [online]. 2000, vol.6, suppl., pp.975-1017. ISSN 0104-5970.

This article focuses on efforts between 1945 and 1952 to create a scientific institute in the Amazon and, specifically, on the project designed by the Brazilian scientist Paulo Estevão de Berrêdo Carneiro. He intended to create with the support of Unesco the International Institute of the Hylean Amazon (IIHA). The literature on the topic has argued that the project met with failure because the prevailing nationalist ideology ran counter to the implementation of such an international institute in the Amazon. Eschewing the notion of success/failure, the present text suggests that the project ran into impasses for other reasons too. For one thing, actors disagreed on the social role of science in the post-World War II period. Another factor consisted of the international and regional disputes around the time of the creation of Unesco, when it wanted to enforce a policy of international scientific collaboration, outside the realm of competition. Lastly, the proposal encountered problems because of the fragile ties between the Unesco project and Brazil’s scientific community. Nevertheless, the idea of establishing the IIHA was to bear unexpected fruit: the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia/Inpa (National Amazon Research Institute).

Keywords : Unesco; Amazon; International Institute of the Hylean Amazon; Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia; history of science; scientific community; sociology of science.

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